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“Nearly excellent stay”

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Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Ranked #15 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We just returned from our first trip to Cozumel with our two sons (17 & 14) for 6 nights. I was thrilled to see the water is still the most amazing thing when you fly in. I went to Playa del Carmen and Tulum 8 years ago and the water was one of the most beautiful parts of that region. We had no past experience with Park Royal or any other resorts so we were as prepared as we could be. I checked Trip Advisor very carefully to find the right fit for our family and we were very happy with our choice of staying at Park Royal. Here are our comments on our stay:

1. Airport transfer to hotel: Definitely walk out of the airport without talking to anyone trying to group you together. We walked out of the airport, turned right, crossed over to sidewalk leading to the main road and had a taxi immediately. It was a $10 cab ride to our hotel and we were really happy with how easy that was. Great tip forum ppl. To get back to the airport the taxis are right outside the hotel so no problem. I would be very careful to check your number of bags when you leave to make sure they are loaded since another family found they were missing a bag once they got to the airport but fortunately it is a quick drive back to the hotel.

2. We were all very happy with how nice the hotel was when we pulled up to Park Royal. We had a bellman take our bags and we checked in complete with a delicious cold fruit drink that both the boys thought was pretty cool. We couldn't go to our room, but they gave us our wrist bands to start enjoying the resort.

3. Meals: My youngest is a picky eater and we try to eat healthy without a lot of fried foods. We were very happy with the variety of food selections at the buffet every day. Always plenty of fresh sliced fruit, a variety of salads, yes some of the items may have been from the day before but they were re-vamped. For instance a bone in chicken breast from Tuesday nights dinner, would be a shredded chicken with a spicy sauce the next night. It was all very good and we always went back for seconds. We all had our favorite items and enjoyed the theme nights. We thought we would eat off site every night to enjoy some of the area favorites, but after a full day in the pool and ocean along with muy drinks, that didn't happen. We made friends with a lot of people at the pool that went to the Italian and Mexican on site restaurant that would overly impressed. We didn't bring any dressy clothes so we passed on that. We ate off site for lunch several times including Ernesto's grouper and it was fantastic. Right across the street.

4. Rooms: When we went back to get our room keys, I had asked if I could pay for an upgrade since there were not any on line through Expedia, Lizbeth told us know the hotel was full and no changes were available. I also asked about a higher floor, no was the answer again. She wasn't the most pleasant. Another staff member said to check back in a few days. We couldn't have been any lower view wise with room 2114 which is the 2nd tower (attached to the lobby), one floor up and around by the amphitheater. The garden view was pretty however with lots of palm trees and the pool view. The rooms are very clean, but the beds are super small doubles. We hadn't stayed in a hotel with double beds in 5+ years and knew we were going to be cramped, but tried to make the best of it. Great shower and the safe was only $10 for our stay so we did that. After a very sleepless night with my husband's snoring, I went to the front desk first thing the next morning to see if a different staff person could help us with an upgrade. Keep in mind I wasn't asking for a free upgrade. We had wanted to pay and I could see the hotel was not full or overly busy. I had a great staff member named Carlos call over a bellman to show me a Jr. Suite in tower 1. We were sold. A large king bed, great view, separate sink area from the bathroom portion and a separate room for the boys with 2 single beds. I was told it was normally $70 more each night, but for a special rate of $20 per night we could change rooms. For $100 it was a fantastic move. We loved the new room and will always request a Jr. Suite for our future stays. Our room number was 1902 which was tower 1 on the 9th floor right off the elevators.

5. Pool, Beach & Bars: The access to the pools, restaurants, bars and beach are wonderful. I felt very safe on this property just letting my boys roam. They would go down to get our towels set on chairs if we weren't moving quick enough in the morning. We never put towels out before 10am and never had trouble finding 4 loungers together. Our favorite spots were on the decks behind the lower pool near the diving pier. That became our pool the entire trip. Great people, plenty strong drinks thanks to Oscar at the swim up bar, perfect snack bar access, restrooms right there, great views of the ocean, our boys snorkeling and the cruise ships. I bought a float 4 days into our trip and wish I had it sooner. Floating out in the ocean was fantastic and very relaxing. Anyone who says the drinks are watered down is crazy. I had to pace myself the drinks were so strong. My boys had virgin pina coladas, daiquiris and mojitos. The bar staff took great care of us and yes we did bring a lot of $1 bills for tipping. It would have been great to have chair service, but it was not a big deal and made it more social interacting with all our new pool friends. Great people and a lot of fun. The beach is small but we were in the water the majority of the time and bringing your own snorkeling gear is great. The fish are very active, a little nibbly, but very colorful.

6. Tours: We were never approached by even one timeshare person so that was wonderful. We did have the bellman call us a taxi when we wanted to go into town or head to Chankanaab on our own. We didn't feel like doing anything scheduled this trip. We went to Ron Jon's in town for our Cozumel t-shirts, there was an HSBC bank in the town square so I was able to use the ATM, shopped for our little trinkets and found Starbucks. We also shopped at the Mega Store for a few misc. items which was great and caught a taxi easy. We paid $10 each way with tip. My sons are still laughing at all the "Hey my friend, come here for great price today" or "special price for you". They'd never seen that before. One of the best things we did was visit Chankanaab for a full day. Since we had so much rain, we thought why not head over and snorkel there. We paid $16 for the taxi there and $21 per person to get in. We weren't interested in the pool or shows (dolphin or sea lions) but rather the beach, replica ruins, the scenery and snorkeling. We arrived at 10:00am, just before a huge group of cruise people and had a great palapa with 4 chairs and a wonderful waiter, Gonsalvo who took care of us all day. We were able to run a tab for drinks and food which was great, but be sure to have enough cash since they do not take credit cards. The boys had giant coconut shell and pineapple shell drinks with fruit faces on them and we had conch, grilled squid and chicken nachos. The snorkeling was fantastic with markers in the water showing you where the sunken statues and cannons are. There was a large raft for you to swim out to. Be sure to bring towels from the resort which we did not and there are no towels to rent. We ended up buying 1 very cheap thin towel for $15 just to dry off with. It rain for a couple of hours, but we walked around the replica ruins which is really cool and had a couple's massage overlooking the lagoon. They had a 2 for 1 special which was two 45 minute massages for $70. That was a great price and they did a wonderful job. By the time we had lunch and massages the rain had passed. They had hammocks to chill in and clean restrooms. Overall it was a great experience.

7. Weather: Prior to leaving we were watching the weather forecast and it wasn't looking too good regarding sunny days. We had a good 1st day, but we weren't able to get into the pool very early. We had a lot of clouds, a bit of sun most days with quite a few days of scattered showers. We had one afternoon when everyone just hung out under the bar palapas. Our last full day was the best day with a perfect sunny day which makes the water a perfect turquoise color. We only had a sunset one night because the cloud cover was so low, the sunset didn't break through. We didn't get sunburned at all, but did get a bit of a tan. Considering all the rain that was okay.

8. Cruise ships: We weren't sure how we were going to feel with the cruise ships blocking our view each day, but we ended up liking it. Our new room overlooking Hotel Cid, the shopping area and the water so we'd check every morning to see what ships came in. They always pulled out before dinner except for one night. We did enjoy watching people run on the decks trying to catch their ship. They were not the eye sore we were expecting. Of course, now my sons want to take a cruise after seeing how massive they were in person.

9. Money: I would say take more cash vs. relying on your credit cards. No one accepts Discover, most didn't take AMEX so we put the higher amount items (Chankanaab and Ron Jons) on our secure Mastercard. Trying to find an ATM that gave American $ back was a challenge, I didn't like paying the fees and the hotel did not have an ATM which would have been so convenient. We did use the safe in the hotel and felt it was fine. We also didn't have any concerns with our belongings at the pool at the hotel. I would just budget to have more cash next time.

10. Negatives: The beds are not the most comfortable at Park Royal, but we had a lot of pillows which helped. Not having an ATM on site was challenging. My boys were laughing at their favorite TV shows in Spanish every night. They had 3 English speaking channels. We only watched TV at night so it wasn't a huge deal. Wifi: I literally received messages maybe 3 days out of the 6 we were there. Even text messages were random. Since I heard so much negative about the hotels wifi we didn't pay another $15 a day for that and I will contact Verizon about my International plan not working down there. We really don't have a lot of negatives.

We loved our trip and plan to return to Park Royal. We loved the location to town, the snorkeling, the food/beverage and the views. Great trip overall.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank WeddingLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 30, 2013

I really want to rave about the PR, as I have in previous reviews/stays. However, this time around (my 3rd at PR) was just "average". My husband is a diver, so he put together a trip with 5 of his dive buddies (and their families).

About a month and a half before our trip, I called PR to 1) request a crib, as we were bringing our baby and 2) request that all of our rooms be grouped together, for easier meet-ups before everyone went out for dives/meals/etc. Once we arrived, 3 of the 6 rooms had been grouped together on the same floor, in the same building, the 4th was in the same building but 4 floors up, and the 4th/5th were in the opposite building, also on different floors. Although there were quite a number of guests, there's no way that those 6 rooms of the 348 on the property couldn't have been grouped together. At least all in the same building? Our room was just like the others, however we had a view of the water/gas tanks. Why there are balconies facing that corner of the property boggles my mind. Who wants to go on vacation to look at that? The elevators in our building were always on the fritz. There was one occasion, I was trapped inside one for a about a minute with my 3 month old. Talk about scary!!!

The food offered at the Veranda Buffet this time around was just decent. We feel like the other times we've stayed there, it's been a better variety/quality. Breakfast was better than lunch or dinner. We tried to avoid dinner, and made reservations at the on-site restaurants 5 of the 7 nights we were there. Reservations were a hassle!!! The Italiano/Mexicano restaurants are only suppose to start taking reservations at 12 NOON. One day I called, and they were "booked" by 12:15, and another my husband went to wait outside (11:30am) and the gentleman behind the podium was already taking reservations. NOT COOL! Also NOT COOL...not allowing children under 12 into the Italiano restaurant. We really don't see a difference between either dining room. Everyone at the resort (guests and staff alike) was more than gracious to us upon seeing our baby, but we still couldn't have dinner in there. We, at least, were able to order off the Italiano menu (forfeiting the antipasto/desserts). It made things difficult having to split the group for those that wanted to go in and eat there. Lastly, I don't see why in any of the restaurants (Veranda/Italiano/Mexicano) they don't allow for putting more than 2 tables together. We were a party of 9 adults. 2 tables allow for 8 people. So, we were always split into 4/5 or 3/6. That's a little ridiculous. What's one more chair?!

The biggest problem we had at the PR...the entertainment. Can't really say there was any this visit. Our past 2 visits, the entertainment/staff was amazing!!! We spent so much time raving about it/them to our friends, and in the end...we looked like liars. There use to be a number of people on the entertainment team. There were between 6-8 of them working hard to keep everyone involved in some type of craft/sport on a daily basis. I can say that this visit, there were literally 3 people working, daily. And to say that they tried to involve guests in what they had scheduled, would be a lie. None of them were enthusiastic about what they were doing. With all the guests that were on the property that week we were there, there should have been a lot more effort to get guest interaction. The nightly shows have greatly been scaled back. They use to be a lot more of a production. They've chopped a lot of them up, and shortened them quite a bit. There's an evening you're told there will be a "Pirate Show" (we hadn't seen it last time we visited in January 2012). We all thought, maybe a little bit of the "Pirates of the Caribbean". Nope! The only thing pirates about it, is the staff is dressed like pirates. The who show is men v. women. It got to where the men/women were competing over what group could collect the most bras from the women guests. That's NOT very family friendly. I saw quite a few people (even without children) get up and leave this show. I think it's something the staff should re-think.

Would we return to the PR? ...possibly. We just happened to luck out and get a really good deal one day on Travelocity for flight/stay. However, this trip is also going to make us think twice next time we decide to visit (which is about once a year. this was our 5th trip). It might be time to try somewhere else.

Room Tip: To get a room with a view, stay on floors higher than 5. We also heard from people on the property...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mcosta511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

First time at PR Cozumel. Check in was quick and easy. We got what we asked for, which was a king bed and to be situated on the same floor as our friends. The bell boys were very helpful. The room was very neat and clean. The only thing it lacked was a modern TV and a tub (shower only with no seat for women to shave etc). AC worked well. No other issues with room. The grounds are kept very clean. They are constantly cleaning, sweeping, trimming etc. no complaints. The walkways are a little bumpy but not an issue unless you have balance problems or are wearing high heels. The beach and bars are great. Bartenders make good drinks with name brand alcohol. The pools could use re-plastering but are in good enough condition to be enjoyable. For our stay the water was always on the warm side- very comfortable. The Buffett was good. Not spectacular, but good. The restaurant was better than Buffett, but reservations have to be made the day before. That's not always possible if you're out on a tour or whatever. If you ask nice the hostess might make an exception. The location is great. Walking distance to shopping or a 10 min, 7 dollar US taxi ride to the main part of town. The cruise ships being docked nearby aren't an issue. There's plenty of view even when they're there, and they usually depart before sunset. My only complaints are; no free wi-fi and It's expensive to buy. No room service. Slow elevators. The good far outweighs the bad. We will stay again.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank nresende
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Ok, so this hotel is not top notch for sure, but it is ok.
Pros: very clean, good food...coconut grouper at the Mexican was amazing, buffet great for breakfast...eggwhite omelets cooked to order with pico and avacado sauce were really good...lots of choices as well, great quacamole, great soups, fairly quick service, friendly bartenders who tried to make you whatever you wanted, rooms were big enough and really clean, I love the hard beds of Mexico so I slept great, room cooled nicely( be sure to insert room key into slot), plenty of towels and face clothes, resort itself had a nice Mexican feel and was small enough to get wherever you wanted to go quickly enough, only a $14 round trip fare to town, pools were nice and never crowded, never a problem finding a chaise, bell hops were very accommodating, and welcome drink was a nice token.
Cons: no fridge in room nor cold soft drinks, only two medium bottles of water per day, no complimentary wifi even in the lobby ( but cross the street and buy a coke at Ernesto's and they will give you a code), cool showers around 6 pm, lobby is not great visually, desk staff not overly friendly, everybody seems to have to wait till 3 to check in ( I get that check-in is at three, but no way were they at full capacity...) our view was not great...there was an ocean view if you didn't mind looking at the top of the shopping center...maybe it was just our bad luck...the majority of the rooms faced the center of the resort and that's how I would like it, but lucky us...we were put on the back side of the tower...hopefully you will get a better room, not a real exciting vibe to this resort ( but we are sort of use to the Riu Palaces), beach was very small, and like others have said the walkways are tough to walk on.
So, it was decent for our 5 day trip...7 day trips I personally would have chosen another resort.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank luvclearbluewater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Stayed there for 7 nights in June as a sole occupant for scuba diving with an independent dive operator. I was there as part of a dive group. The price of just under $1K included all the food and alcohol. A so-so Wi-Fi internet was another $80 for the week.
The room was reasonably comfortable with very good central AC controlled by a digital thermostat. Bed was firm but adequate. There was no chair with back in the room if you want to sit back and read or study. On the positive side the resort had a tunnel under the busy ring road to lead to the beach and dock. Also when contacted the staff about issues such as a broken telephone there were reasonably receptive and prompt.
My main complaint about this place is the noise. There was busy people traffic outside my door of staff with their annoying walkie-talkies and of guests. Sometimes this would continue into the night. Also plenty of loud music and loud voice entertainment wafting into the room. The ice machines were as loud as generators, but to their credit were turned off after 6pm. Also the facilities for divers such as hangers for wetsuits and dive gear were lacking; most of the guests were non divers.
Food in the buffet Veranda restaurant was satisfactory and better than the Italian/Mexican restaurant also on the premises.
In summary if you like a resort with a lot of action and don’t mind the noise this one is fine, if you’re looking for a quiet getaway I’d look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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2  Thank Adam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Returned yesterday from Park Royal Cozumel on Mom/Daughter trip (2 moms & daughters). We have been to Cozumel many times over the years, and 5 times in the last four years and love where we usually stay, but our friends wanted to try Park Royal so we agreed. I will never stay there again. You can do so much better for the same price or slightly more. Food was the basics. No seafood in sight at buffet, except for paella one night when I received one shrimp (head on). Never once saw guacamole - our favorite! "Grill" by the pool consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, tortilla chips with runny mustard-colored "queso", and pizza which sits in the warmer all day. Grill attendant seemed irritated every time we ordered. You cannot take food out of the restaurant/buffet, so you are limited to eat on that schedule. We went to the sports bar and were there for an extended time, but could not pick up food to bring in. Food is not allowed in the rooms either. There are no waiters at pools or beach. The "lost towel card" looms over your head ($25 to replace). The hotel is too far from town to comfortably walk, yet not on the good beaches farther from town. The rooms were LOUD and not just from other guests, but from staff wheeling carts and things starting before dawn every morning. Our sliding door wouldn't lock. the toilet seat slammed on our back whenever we were on the seat (scared me every time!). No free internet anywhere. Charge for using the in-room safe. Long walk to "beach" area. But mostly I don't want to spend my money somewhere where the staff seem more intent on enforcing "rules" than catering to guests. Front desk staff super unfriendly. Most bar staff were friendly. Buffet manager simply rude. After terrible meal in the "Mexican restaurant" on the first night we went to town for dinner on subsequent evenings. Headed back to our super secret awesome hotel next time.

Room Tip: If you go, don't be near ground floor.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank PeriKowal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Just back from a recent trip (June '13) to Cozumel and the Park Royal. This is our third time at this hotel, and every time has been a great stay. The people who work there do their best to make every stay a great one. The grounds are spotless, the food is always good with great service. I don't expect perfection at a buffet, but myself and my family always find something tasty at this resort. The two reservations only restaurants are good, but we prefer the Mexican over the Italian style. This is an all-inclusive resort only, so it has a few restaurants, a grand buffet and two snack bars. The resort has great views if you are above the 5th floor, and the activities staff are always fun. We recommend this resort for families and adults as the families stay towards the main pool and the adults get more rowdy at the beach side pools. We hope to go back again someday. The view from our deck (link below)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVcN4dZfGDI&feature=share

Room Tip: No room service. Get the 5th floor or above. You will have a cruise ship in your view most days....d...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank cwd100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Park Royal Cozumel

Address: Playa Paraiso Km 3.5 Carretera Chankanaab, Cozumel 77600, Mexico (Formerly Park Royal Cozumel)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#8 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $152 - $369 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Park Royal Cozumel 4*
Number of rooms: 342
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Admire the award-winning architecture and the interior design of Grand Park Royal Cozumel; its Mayan touch that lives together with the nature that surrounds it will captivate you. From the pools, Jacuzzis and bars, you will be amazed with the turquoise shades of the sea. You will also be delighted with a wide range of gastronomic options including seafood and international specialties. Immerse yourself in an incredible submarine adventure by practicing diving and snorkeling in the world’s second biggest reef. Our activities program and nightly shows are ideal for enjoying in family. Fun is guaranteed! Live the Grand Park Royal experience in Cozumel! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Park Royal Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Park Royal Hotel Cozumel
Park Royal Cozumel Mexico

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